Aluminum Canopies VS Custom Steel Canopies In 2020

Easier To Install

Less Maintenance

architectural aluminum canopy

A pre-designed aluminum canopy on a commercial building.| Image: Vestis Systems


We know every architect and contractor is looking for new ways to streamline their projects, add more value, all within the project budget. What if we told you something as simple as switching from custom steel canopies to aluminum canopies can give you all the benefits stated above, plus more? Would you make the switch from using older traditional steel canopies to the new modern aluminum canopies?

“We Only Use Aluminum Because Of All The Benefits You Get Compared To Steel”

We have been working with architects and contractors since 1883, we build some of the highest American quality architectural canopies and metal awnings around and we only use aluminum because of all the benefits you get compared to steel. We really don’t see why anybody would want to use steel canopies on their commercial projects in 2020. We talked to our clients, staff, architects, and contractors, here’s what they came up with for the main 4 reasons everybody should switch to aluminum canopies in 2020:

lean manufactured pre-designed aluminum canopy

Aluminum canopy VS Steel canopy chart| Image: Vestis Systems

1.) Price

Let’s start with the price. Steel canopies have been traditionally cheaper to purchase than aluminum canopies. Still, the problem with custom steel canopies is what you end up paying for down the road with high maintenance costs and full crew installation. Aluminum canopies are more expensive to purchase. They quickly become more cost-efficient with their simplified installation and low future maintenance cost.

2.) Installation

We know installation time is crucial to every commercial building project and architectural canopy. Installation time and cost is a big reason why you need to choose aluminum over steel. The average steel commercial canopy takes a full crew and heavy equipment to install. Still, aluminum canopies are a third of the weight, making it much easier to work with, and no extra equipment like a crane is needed. *Bonus, Vestis Systems makes a pre-designed canopy that can be installed by a 2-person crew in about 4 hours. 

pre-designed architectural canopy installation

Pre-designed canopies come ready to be simply installed. | Image: Vestis Systems

3.) Maintenance

The maintenance comparison between the two commercial canopies is where aluminum shines. Steel canopies are generally painted on-site. This is a headache within itself, but this is just the beginning of your worries. The paint used on the steel canopy will lead to flaking, scratching, and fading. This causes your architectural canopy to look much older than it should. Steel canopies do have another finishing option called Kynar, and it’s much more protective when it comes to harsh outside environments. Still, Kynar’s problem is that it is much more expensive and is a softer paint, leading to a frustrating amount of scratches. Aluminum canopies have a much lower maintenance cost and look great for a much more extended period. Unlike steel, aluminum does not have iron in its composition. It can not rust; Vestis Systems chooses to finish their commercial canopies with a powder-coat finish, which allows for a protected affordable finish that is resistant to chipping, scratching, and fading.

4.) Look

Have you ever walked or drove by a beautiful commercial building, and noticed their architectural canopies or metal awnings had rust on them? We have, and it’s not great for anybody; the architect is mad because it’s an unnecessary eyesore. The contractor is mad because it looks like it’s his fault, and the building owner is mad because it’s only been a few years and their commercial canopies are rusting. The traditional steel canopy paint finish doesn’t last as long as anybody would like. You need to invest more upfront with aluminum canopies, but trust us, you get a superior architectural canopy that looks modern and is much more cost-efficient over time. 

aluminum canopy design

Commercial building with c-channel commercial canopies installed. | Image: Vestis Systems

Aluminum canopies offer so many benefits that it’s hard to even consider traditional custom steel canopies when you compare them, aluminum architectural canopies allow you to streamline your project with less on-site coordination and quicker installation times. You should seriously consider making the switch from steel to aluminum on your next commercial building or project, it doesn’t matter if it’s a commercial canopy, architectural canopy, metal awning, or louvered sunshade, you need to make your next architectural product out of aluminum. 

For more info on Architectural Canopies.

Vestis Systems | Fast. Simple. Quality.